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Five talking points from Barcelona 1-2 Real Sociedad

A defeat and a trophy

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga Santander Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona still in party mode

Barcelona slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad on Saturday, just the fourth time they have lost all season in La Liga.

The team have been partying hard all week, and it really showed, as La Real struck early and never really looked back against the hungover hosts.

The visitors could really have had more goals, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen impressed again, while Barca did manage to get one back late on through Robert Lewandowski.

Barcelona’s defeat means little in the grand scheme of things, but Xavi won’t want his team to fizzle out entirely in their last few games.

Games against Real Valladolid, Mallorca and Celta Vigo must still be negotiated, and Xavi will want his players to be a lot better than they were here.

Araujo’s absence tells

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona were without Ronald Araujo, Pedri and Gavi for the match, but it was the defender’s absence that was the most notable.

The Catalans conceded twice to take their tally to 15 for the season in La Liga. With Araujo on the pitch, Barca have only conceded five goals in La Liga this season. That’s some statistic.

Without Araujo in the team, Barca also conceded from open play for the first time at home all season. Previously, the only players to have beaten Ter Stegen at home in La Liga had been Araujo himself and Joselu from the penalty spot.

Barca have plenty of quality in defence this season, with Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen, but it’s clear that Araujo remains Barcelona’s best and most important defender.

Zubimendi shows why Xavi wants him

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Martin Zubimendi shone for Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou and put in the sort of performance that showed exactly why Xavi wants him at Barcelona.

The midfielder was described as “extraordinary” by Xavi in his pre-match press conference and certainly lived up to his reputation.

All of Real Sociedad’s play seemed to involve Zubimendi at some point. He also set up the second goal for La Real by robbing Frenkie de Jong and setting the visitors off on a counter that was finished by Sorloth.

Yet the chances of Zubimendi actually signing for Barca look almost non-existent. The player keeps insisting he’s happy at Real Soceidad, signed a new contract last year and has a price tag Barca can’t afford.

Lewandowski a step closer

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Saturday night was another game and another goal for Robert Lewandowski who is inching closer to picking up the Pichichi award.

The Poland international now has 22 for the season in Spain’s top flight and is five clear of Karim Benzema ahead of Real Madrid’s trip to Valencia later today.

Yet it might not matter what the Frenchman does as Lewandowski is ending the season back in the goals.

Saturday’s effort was his fifth in his last five games and there are surely more to come with three games of the season left to play for Barcelona.

Can Ter Stegen still snatch record?

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lewandowski may be marching towards the Pichichi but Ter Stegen’s hopes of making history took a blow against Real Sociedad after conceding twice.

The league record is currently held by Deportivo La Coruna who conceded just 18 goals and kept 26 clean sheets during the 1993-94 campaign.

Ter Stegen has 25 clean sheets so far and has conceded 15 goals, meaning he’s still on target to beat the record but it’s going to be close.

The German needs one more clean sheet to equal the the record but two to own it outright, and also needs to concede less than three goals in his last three games.

Barca return to action with a trip to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid before finishing off against Real Mallorca and Celta Vigo.

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